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Unformatted text preview: Urban Studies, Vol. 38, Nos 56, 941 957, 2001 Urban Policing and the Fear of Crime Eli B. Silverman and Jo-Ann Della-Giustina [Paper rst received in nal form, January 2001] The interplay between policing strategies and the fear of crime in urban areas has only recently garnered the attention it warrants. There are two main reasons for this. The rst revolves around the relatively ambiguous or undeveloped exploration of the linkage be- tween crime and the fear of crime. The se- cond reason hinges on the rst: amorphous knowledge of the crimefear of crime nexus has compelled police agencies, until fairly recently, to target speci c crimes and only generally to address fear of crime. This paper focuses on the relationships between various policing strategies and fear of crime in urban areas. How does fear of crime affect policing and do policing strate- gies deliberately and/or unwittingly impact on residents fear of crime? 1. Prerequisites for Effective Action In order for fear of crime to impact upon police strategies and tactics, several condi- tions must be met. First, police must consider the containment of fear of crime (as opposed to crime itself) a high priority. Secondly, the police would need to know the manner in which fear of crime and crime are inter- woven. Thirdly, the police must believe that they can devise concrete strategies to address fear of crime. Fourthly, the police need to be con dent of successfully delivering these strategies. Lastly, there ought to be a way to assess the extent to which these strategies have been successful. Each of these steps is a tall order as they confront numerous obsta- cles inherent in the uncertainty surrounding the connection between ghting crime (their primary mission) and fear reduction. Thus, it is to this topic that we rst devote our atten- tion. 1.1 Fear of Crime and Crime The inherent ambiguities in this connection are partially attributable to the various con- ceptions the literature bestows on the elusive concept known as the fear of crime. The extensive articles devoted to this topic far exceed concrete accord as to its meaning. While many studies generally focus on safety to operationalise fear, such researchers as Ferraro, Warr and others differentiate be- tween fear of crime and perceived risk of harm. Ferraro distinguishes fear of crime from perceived risk. He de nes fear of crime as an emotional response of dread or anxi- ety to crime or symbols that a person associ- ates with crime (Ferraro, 1995, p. 4). That de nition implies that some recognition of potential danger, or a perceived risk, is necessary to evoke fear. Perceived risk is the recognition of a situation as possessing at least potential danger, real or imagined which involves exposure to the chance of injury or loss (Ferraro, 1995, pp. 8, 11)....
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course USP 480 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.
- Spring '11